Our current built environment which was once meant for people and worked to integrate with nature doesn’t seem to be designed for people or nature anymore. Since the advent of the assembly line and the mass production of the automobile in 1913 the built environment in the United States has changed. These changes did not happen all at once; they have occurred over time in a subtle fashion. These changes have caused a shift in development practices that have moved away from people and nature.
New Urbanism is a movement dedicated to the advancement of specific principles that serve to ensure that we build places which make our society stronger, protect our environment, and make economic sense. As outlined in the Charter of the New Urbanism its goals (in part) are in developing communities with mixed housing types, mixed use, appropriate allocation of density, interconnected streets making the community more walkable, and an identifiable center and edge. New Urbanism wants to put “unity” back into community.
Anyone that visits Daybreak will quickly and easily recognize that it is different from the more common suburban neighborhoods that are the status quo along the Wasatch Front. I also know that not everyone is interested or would be comfortable living in Daybreak. For me, Daybreak works extremely well because it provides all of the things that a suburban neighborhood is unable to provide.
Accessory units are the most effective way of providing density within a neighborhood while simultaneously providing the lightest impact to the neighborhood. It allows the property owner to be selective of the occupant because they are sharing space and utilities. It allows for the property owner to subsidize their own mortgage with the rent from the accessory unit.
The opportunity for Salt Lake City to host CNU 21 opened up some extremely unique opportunities to hold discussions combining the topics of faith and community because the city itself served to justify as a back drop for the combination. Introductions have now been made between Salt Lake City, the LDS Church, and new urbanism. The question is now, what will each do with the newly formed relationship? The opportunities for doing good are tremendous only IF each recognizes the benefits that can be shared by their newly found “friend.”